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Christmas Child Collection
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Escalon Covenant Church will be the collection point for Operation Christmas Child again this year, with the shoeboxes packed with items for needy youngsters across the country and around the world being delivered there next week.

“We have been distributing (shoeboxes) all over town and the church office has a supply,” said local resident Cheryl Degerman, working this year with Escalon Relay Center Coordinator Pamela Elsholz.

The church collects boxes that have been filled with items for children in a variety of age ranges and a full week of collection days begins Monday, Nov. 17. They are then sent to a regional center in Huntington Beach, prepared for shipment overseas or across the country.

You can drop off shoeboxes on the following days and times:

Monday, Nov. 17 and Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 20 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon; Sunday, Nov. 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Escalon Covenant Church is at 1155 Escalon Ave.

“The age range for boxes is the youngest, ages two to four; then five to nine and finally, 10 to 14,” said Degerman.

The greatest need, she said, is in the boys 10 to 14 range, as that age group seems to get the least amount of boxes.

School supplies, hygiene items and toys (no war toys) are sought for the boxes and should be age and gender appropriate.

“Last year we collected 826 boxes. We haven’t set a goal but we have distributed somewhere between 600 to 700 boxes,” Degerman noted.

Collection centers will be open across the country during the coming week, including one in neighboring Oakdale, which is new this year. Riverbank is participating as well and will bring boxes to Escalon.

“We get a lot of last minute people rushing in,” Degerman said, adding that volunteers will be there every day next week for the collection.

For more information, contact Degerman at 838-3732 or Elsholz at 743-0739.

Degerman, Elsholz, Janet Veldstra and Diana Dunn will also be making a trip to assist at a large processing center near Los Angeles for three days, signing up for a variety of shifts to inspect the boxes being prepared for shipment.